Brussels Declares War On Piracy In Sports Broadcasts

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The European Parliament promotes a reform to create digital “alerts” that report illegal broadcasts so that they can be cut in no more than 30 minutes and report the crime for prosecution

Sports broadcasts such as the Champions League final, the NBA final series or the Olympic Games gather hundreds of millions of viewers from all over the world in front of the television. Many of them are paid events. But just as some do not want to pay a ticket to access a stadium, there are those who do not want to pay an amount to Movistar, Orange, Sky Sports or Canal + France to see them. In the heat of this demand, which in Europe is estimated at 7.6 million users, criminal mafias have emerged that, for a much lower price than that charged by an operator, offer the possibility of seeing these events in a pirated way. From the classic web page to view pirated content, much more sophisticated systems have been adopted, such as the possibility of connecting to an IP that leads to matches and that is provided by WhatsApp, decoders or satellite dishes for which they are paid monthly mafias.

The prosecution of these criminals is complicated, but the European Parliament is promoting legal reform to prosecute these criminals.

The process for removing pirated content from the internet is already regulated in the European Union. However, it is not useful or effective against sports 무료스포츠중계 content piracy. The short duration of sporting events and the ephemeral value of the content (primarily for live consumption) make it impossible to solve sports piracy with current regulations. A court order can take days or months, and by then there’s not much point in removing the content since virtually everyone who has connected to it illegally has done so live. The damage is already done. For this reason, the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs has promoted a reform to adapt the regulations to a type of content as specific and important as sporting events.

Illegal IPs

As one of its main promoters, Ciudadanos MEP Adrián Vázquez, explains, “Currently, the competitions themselves, such as LaLiga or the English Premier League, have developed detection systems and cut off the broadcast of the pirate signals they detect.” They do it, he explains, taking advantage of a legal vacuum that, in any case, does not prevent the mafias from repeating their crime. “Even if they detect an illegal IP, thousands of them are generated”, most of which are outside of Spain and are not pursued , adds Vázquez. That is why this legal change has been promoted, with the double objective of not only cutting off illegal emissions but also making it possible to prosecute criminals.

To do so, the report that proposes the reform proposes to create a European certification that enables “reliable alerter” who are responsible for reporting pirate broadcasts. Today, according to Vázquez, and thanks to the available software, there are fast and reliable ways to detect these emissions and differentiate them from the legal ones. Once reported by these flaggers, the reported illegal content would be removed or made inaccessible in no more than 30 minutes. In addition, the authorities would be reported for prosecution, something that would be easier if the European Commission finally approved a directive that would serve as a legal umbrella for the entire continent.

At the moment, the report has been approved by a majority of 18 votes in favor and 6 against in the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament, so Vázquez trusts that the European Parliament will ratify it in the plenary session that will be held in the third May week. If so, the ball would already be in the court of the Commission, which would be in charge of drawing up the directive to fight against an illegal practice that, according to the calculations of the promoters of the measure, generated benefits of 522 million euros in 2019. euros that did not reach the operators or the sports clubs.

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